.30-30 @ 300 yards.

Two shot group is 2.9". Target is 17" diameter.  

July 24, 2015

The 30 WCF was introduced by Winchester in 1895, and the name was later changed to the .30-30 Winchester. I personally like old cartridges and rifles that point well are handy. The Model 92-94 and especially the Model 64 Winchester with 24" barrel are good examples of these rifles. The longer barrel allows for more sight plane, unlike the modern ARs that put the front sight several inches back on the rail (on an already short barrel). We learned to put the front sight on or near the discharge end of the weapon 200 years ago. Enough about ARs already.

The 24" barrel may give the shooter 100 fps more than the carbine.

Some years back I came across an Alliant Power Reloading paper booklet. It shows RL15, 34.1 grain @ 2,330 fps. That's fast for a 170 grain Sierra Bullet. Hornady shows a carbine with 32.1 grain at 2,100 fps and 170 Hornady FP. I have reloaded for many .30-30's and have always found it to shoot more accurately than any other load. This load also worked well in Marlins.

Some books comment that a .30-30 is good at 100-150 yards, which is true, BUT it shoots well past that with good iron sights. After shooting a new addition to my gun collection, a Model 64 Winchester made in 1936, I found it very accurate at 200 yards. I decided to take it to 250 yards, clicking up 3 times on my DW Battlesight peep sight from 200 yards. I managed to hit 1-1/4" from center with the first shot.  I went to 300 yards, clicking up 3 more times, and decided to shoot two rounds for a group. The first shot at 300 yards was 1" low, so windage was great. The second round was 2.9" from the first with same windage, almost perfect, but low by 2.9". The target was one that had been patched a little. The diameter of the target was 17", about the size of a mature buck's chest area.

Let's look at energy and compare the popular .223 rifle to a .30-30 rifle:



.223 w/55 gr bullet

.30-30 w/170 gr bullet

100 yards

885.1 lbs/energy

1,478.4 fps

200 yards

675.1 lbs/energy

1,096.2 fps

300 yards

502.1 lbs/energy

830.8 fps

400 yards

358.3 lbs/energy

633.5 fps

We can see that the old vintage .30-30 has almost the same energy at 400 yards as the .223 has at 200 yards. The .357 Magnum pistol (158 gr bullet at 1,250 fps) only has 548 lbs/energy at the muzzle. The .30-30, at 450 yards, has more energy than the .357 Magnum has at the muzzle. The .44 Magnum (300 gr bullet @ 1,100 fps) has 805 lbs/energy at 300 yards, compared to .30-30 with 830.8 lbs/energy at 300 yards.

My salute goes out to a worthy weapon that puts the fun back into hunting and shooting. Don't put a scope on a rifle that only needs a good set of DW Battlesights.